Guest post by summer intern, Jessica Fisher
Under the banner of OS OpenData are over a dozen products which vary in format, scale and design to offer the greatest flexibility and usability possible. These products are all freely downloadable from our OS website – and now there are new start-up guides to using a number of the products.
OS products can be simply used to provide aesthetic maps, but are also incredibly useful when it comes to spatial analysis. There are numerous case studies of the government, companies and individuals using OS OpenData for risk analysis, planning and improving efficiency. OS OpenData is available to anyone and can be used in infinitely many ways, however, some may be put off by the daunting prospect of obtaining data and using geographic information systems (GIS) for the first time.
As a Geophysics student starting a summer internship at OS, I had a basic knowledge of GIS from my studies at the University of Southampton. However my knowledge was tailored to geological analysis and interpretation, I had never worked with OS OpenData or with QGIS software. On arriving at OS my eyes were opened to the world of cartography and the wide range of software available to style and analyse data. At this point of my internship I’ve been predominantly writing guides for those with little or no previous experience with GIS and/or OS data. The guides are all designed to be used with QGIS software which is free to download from the QGIS website.
The aim for these guides is to encourage people from all walks of life to start creating maps with OS OpenData. Each guide provides a step-by-step tutorial to downloading OS OpenData, creating simple maps with QGIS, and exporting maps as images for several OS products.
Simple start-up guides are available for these OS OpenData products:
-OS VectorMap District (Raster format)
-OS VectorMap District (Vector format)
-OS OpenMap Local
Find them all on our website: http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/resources/carto-design/simple-guides.html
You can use these guides simply to produce snippets of OS maps or use them as an introduction to OS data and can expand your knowledge further with OS Masterclasses which are available online at: www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/innovate/masterclasses/
Additional masterclasses will be available soon for use with OS OpenMap Local – watch this space.